South & Latin America » Guatemala
Gay Guide Guatemala
Consensual homosexual acts between two men over 18 are legal. In Mayan cultures, homosexual acts were not taboo; on the contrary, they were part of traditions. The Mayan culture is often described as a bisexual culture; it was legitimate for young men to have sexual intercourse with both women and men. Only through the Spanish conquest and the advance of Christianity, homosexuality was regarded as a problem. Hate crimes against LGBT have been a major problem in Guatemala in recent decades as they have been tolerated by the government. Several cases have attracted international attention, including the murder of transsexual AIDS activist Luis Palencia in Guatemala City. On 18 October 2008, an event organised by the two local LGBT organisations in Samayac Suchitepéquez was attacked with a tear gas bomb. This event, part of the Global Fund to fight AIDS campaign, focused on HIV prevention. Fortunately, no one was seriously injured. The lack of respect for human rights in Guatemala is still a serious problem and, in terms of the recognition of minorities and rights for homosexuals, it is a long way from its neighbouring countries. But in Guatemala, too, there has been some progress: in a 2010 survey, only 12% of respondents were in favour of homosexual marriage; by 2017, 23% were in favour - almost twice as many. In 2016 Sandra Morán became the first openly queer member of the Guatemalan congress, and in the 2019 elections two openly homosexual men run for seats for the first time. There is a small but interesting gay scene in Guatemala City and a few meeting places in the rest of the country. Guatemala is a truly beautiful country with fantastic landscapes. The people are exceptionally friendly and the local specialties are delicious. There are isolated beautiful lonely beaches and ancient cultures waiting to be discovered.
Cities in Guatemala
Location: Central America
International country code: 502 (no area codes)
International access code: 00
Currency: 1 Quetzal (Q) = 100 Centavos
Capital: Ciudad de Guatemala
Religions: 60% Roman Catholic
Climate: The dry season (Nov-May) is the best time, weather-wise, to visit Guatemala.
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